Research the history of your house

Brisbane City Archives have a suite of free resources available to help you uncover the history of your house. Visit Brisbane Images to locate a research guide, view historical photographs and local history collections and search building records. You can also use Brisbane City Council’s guide to research the date of construction, Local Heritage Places online tool or view the Heritage overlay in Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan).

Guide to researching the date of construction

City Plan outlines requirements for appropriate development in Brisbane’s older suburbs, and for renovating, demolishing or removing some buildings. City Plan also provides for:​

  • houses built before 1947 to be retained and any extensions or alterations to complement the traditional building style
  • houses built before 1911 are to be retained and extensions or alterations should not remove pre-1911 elements of the house.​

The construction date of a building helps to clarify what provisions under City Plan apply to development on character buildings constructed prior to 1947.

Council has developed a Practice Note to assist customers in determining the construction date of a building. This practice note provides general advice and guidance only. Researching a building to identify its construction date can be challenging - the type and detail of historical sources relating to a place can vary and interpreting historical information can require specialist knowledge and skills.

If you would like further advice on determining the construction date of a building, it is recommended you engage the services of an appropriately qualified historian or heritage consultant.

Download the Practice Note – Determining the construction date of a building (Word – 145kb).

Local Heritage Places

You can search for local heritage places and find out facts and features about these places in Council's Local Heritage Places online. You can find information such as architectural period and style, photographs and other historical information about a local heritage place.

Heritage overlay 

The City Plan Heritage overlay identifies sites that have local heritage values. This overlay explains what development would be appropriate on, or adjoining, local heritage places. This includes the adaptive reuse of these places to ensure the cultural heritage significance of a place is not compromised.

More information

You can find other information about the history of your house by checking:

For general enquiries about researching a property, Council's City Archives may also assist.

Last updated: 24 May 2022

Brisbane City Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land and their unique relationship with their ancestral country. We pay respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of Brisbane, and recognise their strength and wisdom.